Yesterday, Derek Jeter, shortstop for the Yankees, became the 28th player in major league history to reach 3000 hits. He reached this milestone against the Rays, with a third inning solo home run to left field. As the ball soared through the air, cheers erupted and history was made. But that’s not what this blog post is about..
Christian Lopez was also at the game. He is a New Yorker, Verizon Wireless employee and a diehard Yankees fan. He was sitting in the left field bleachers when the ball was hit, missed and deflected by his father and landed iffy in front of him. He jumped on the ball and it was his- but it didn’t stay his for long. Lopez returned the ball to Jeter, claiming that it was the proper thing to do and that Jeter earned that ball. When most people would be thinking about fame and fortune by way of a sky high eBay reserve price, Lopez gave the historic ball back asking nothing in return (that’s not to say the Yankees didn’t give him anything in return… which they did).
In a time in sports that is riddled with headlines of lockouts, big contracts, overpaid and underperforming athletes, hating on Lebron even though he didn’t get a title, hating on Vick even though he did time, hating on Favre for sending pictures of his penis to someone…. It took an average Joe to show us all what being a fan is really about and do something great for the love of the game.
Take some notes, Met fans. We are gonna have to save some puppies from a burning building to compete with this.